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Semin Oncol. 1997 Apr;24(2):219-40.

Promising new agents under development by the Division of Cancer Treatment, Diagnosis, and Centers of the National Cancer Institute.

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Investigational Drug Branch, Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The Division of Cancer Treatment, Diagnosis and Centers of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has a large program in clinical cancer therapeutics development. It currently holds investigational new drug applications for nearly 200 agents with which it sponsors clinical trials. In addition, it has a major preclinical development program. With the tremendous advances in our understanding of molecular and tumor biology during the past decade, the NCI's portfolio of agents has expanded beyond classical cytotoxic agents to include a wide variety of new molecular and therapeutic targets. In addition to agents with more conventional mechanisms of action, the NCI has targeted therapeutics programs that focus on tumor vasculature, cell cycle control and cell signaling, mechanisms of apoptosis, invasion and metastasis, and immunological recognition and response. Each of these focused areas includes agents of different classes and modes of action that are all directed at the target of interest. The scope of the NCI's program allows it to respond to incorporate promising new agents or targets as they arise and to prioritize them for use of preclinical and clinical resources. Agents in development through the NCI are derived from a number of diverse sources including its own screening efforts, academia, and numerous collaborations with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. NCI works closely with collaborators to ensure complementary, non-duplicative clinical development and attempts to ensure that the full potential of promising agents is explored. A number of compounds in early clinical development or about to enter the clinic are discussed briefly in this manuscript.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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